(a) Agencies must -
(1) Ensure that legitimate needs are identified and trade-offs evaluated to acquire items that meet those needs;
(2) Conduct market research appropriate to the circumstances -
(i) Before developing new requirements documents for an acquisition by that agency;
(ii) Before soliciting offers for acquisitions with an estimated value in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold;
(iii) Before soliciting offers for acquisitions with an estimated value less than the simplified acquisition threshold when adequate information is not available and the circumstances justify its cost;
(iv) Before soliciting offers for acquisitions that could lead to a bundled contract (15 U.S.C. 644(e)(2)(A));
(v) Before awarding a task or delivery order under an indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract (e.g., GWACs, MACs) for a noncommercial item in excess of the simplified acquisition threshold (10 U.S.C. 2377(c)); and
(vi) On an ongoing basis, take advantage (to the maximum extent practicable) of commercially available market research methods in order to effectively identify the capabilities of small businesses and new entrants into Federal contracting, that are available in the marketplace for meeting the requirements of the agency in furtherance of-
(A) A contingency operation or defense against or recovery from nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack; and
(B) Disaster relief to include debris removal, distribution of supplies, reconstruction, and other disaster or emergency relief activities. (See 26.205).
(3) Use the results of market research to -
(i) Determine if sources capable of satisfying the agency’s requirements exist;
(ii) Determine if commercial items or, to the extent commercial items suitable to meet the agency’s needs are not available, nondevelopmental items are available that -
(A) Meet the agency’s requirements;
(B) Could be modified to meet the agency’s requirements; or
(C) Could meet the agency’s requirements if those requirements were modified to a reasonable extent;
(iii) Determine the extent to which commercial items or nondevelopmental items could be incorporated at the component level;
(iv) Determine the practices of firms engaged in producing, distributing, and supporting commercial items, such as type of contract, terms for warranties, buyer financing, maintenance and packaging, and marking;
(v) Ensure maximum practicable use of recovered materials (see Subpart 23.4) and promote energy conservation and efficiency; and
(vi) Determine whether bundling is necessary and justified (see 7.107) (15 U.S.C. 644(e)(2)(A)).
(vii) Assess the availability of electronic and information technology that meets all or part of the applicability standards issued by the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board at 36 CFR part 1194 (see Subpart 39.2).
(b) When conducting market research, agencies should not request potential sources to submit more than the minimum information necessary.
(c) If an agency contemplates awarding a bundled contract, the agency -
(1) When performing market research, should consult with the local Small Business Administration procurement center representative (PCR). If a PCR is not assigned, see 19.402; and
(2) At least 30 days before release of the solicitation or 30 days prior to placing an order without a solicitation-
(i) Must notify any affected incumbent small business concerns of the Government’s intention to bundle the requirement; and
(ii) Should notify any affected incumbent small business concerns of how the concerns may contact the appropriate Small Business Administration representative.
(d) See 44.402(a)(2) and 52.244-6 (Alternate I) for the requirement for a prime contractor to perform market research in contracts in excess of $5 million for the procurement of items other than commercial items.